Innsbruck Olympia SkiWorld offers a remarkable and varied range of skiing and snowboarding opportunities, all accessible from a beautiful historic city centre – Innsbruck, capital of the Tyrol, making the visitor experience unique. Getting to Innsbruck by air, rail and road is also really easy.
It is difficult to know quite where to start with Innsbruck. Visiting Innsbruck and the Olympia SkiWorld is unique from just about any perspective and it’s so easy to get to. Superlatives attach themselves quickly to any reasonable description of the visitor experience in this historic capital of the Alps.
Of course the starting point is this remarkable city’s rich history, which goes back to Roman times, reflecting Innsbruck’s importance as a crossroads both south across the Alps over the Brenner Pass into Italy and east-westwards along the Inn Valley. That is as true today as it was then, but what really puts Innsbruck on the map today, though, is the combination of its stunning Habsburg imperial heritage and its Winter Olympic heritage. And this all set in the majesty of the surrounding high Tyrolean Alps.
And so you have here a unique travel proposition. Fly into Innsbruck airport and take a bus or a taxi to the city centre (the taxi ride is less than 15 minutes and 15 euros); check into your hotel; go skiing in the afternoon; get back from skiing and instead of normal apres-ski, take a walk around the bustling traffic-free historic and beautiful Altstadt and stop for a drink in one of many modern bars or traditional kellers or visit Café Sacher and indulge in their famous chocolate torte. And as you stand in MarieTheresienstrasse, you look back up at the surrounding peaks of the Nordpark covered in snow which you have maybe only just skied and then lower your eyes a bit to the strikingly modern Bergisel Ski Jump, designed in steel and glass by leading architect Zaha Hadid, reminding you of Innsbruck’s great Winter Olympic past.
Of course you don’t have to pack all this into one day and nor could you anyway. With nine different ski resorts to choose from and so many ancient buildings from palaces to churches and museums that you will be lucky to see a few of them properly, not to mention what is a really top class shopping experience with a number of malls and galleries and some high-end fashion, sports and home shops to visit. So you must plan your time carefully and take it easy: Innsbruck is a cool place. And there is also a certain vibrancy that a university brings to any city with students cycling around and student bars (indeed here some of the more atmospheric and lively ones). Innsbruck University was founded in 1669 so its academic and cultural connections are very real and its significant student population remains an important and pleasing aspect of this city’s life.
With such bounteous offerings Innsbruck is an absolute must-see. And remembering its Winter Olympic heritage and the range of winter (and summer) sports including good skiing from beginner to expert level, you won’t be disappointed. And if you like it steep and deep, the off-piste runs and views from top of Nordkette under blue sky and in fresh powder are heavenly.
Where to stay in Innsbruck?
Grand Hotel Europa 5-star
Romantik Hotel Schwarzer Adler 4-star
Hotel Sailer 4-star
Hotel Innsbruck 4-star
Hotel Goldener Adler Innsbruck 4-star
Hotel Maximilian Stadthaus Penz Innsbruck 4-star
Nala Individuellhotel Innsbruck
The Penz Hotel Innsbruck 4-star
Austria Trend Hotel Congress Innsbruck 4-star
Hilton Innsbruck 4-star
Hotel Grauer Bär Innsbruck 4-star
Hotel Kapeller Innsbruck 3-star
Weisses Rössl Innsbruck 3-star
Ramada Innsbruck Tivoli 3-star
Hotel Goldene Krone Innsbruck 3-star
aDLERS Hotel Innsbruck
Gasthof zum Schupfen Innsbruck
Haus der Begegnung nr Innsbruck
Schloss Igls nr Innsbruck
Sporthotel Igls 4-star nr Innsbruck
Innsbruck Pros & Cons
+ Wonderful historic city and nine diverse ski areas
+ Just 15 minutes from airport to city centre
+ Efficient free ski bus services during the day
+ Breathtaking views of city from Nordkette
+ Skiing for all abilities across a wide area
+ Extreme skiing locally at 2300m
+ Plenty of accommodation
+ Lots to see and do
+ Perfect for short breaks and best for grown-ups
+ A refreshingly different "City & Ski" experience
- Commuting to ski areas will be an issue for some
- Strong Fohn wind can cause lift closures